A discovery supported by serendipity seems to offer a new source of support for the diagnosis of the viability of scabies infestations through in vivo and in situ identification of burrows and mite bodies when illuminated by 365 nm of UVA light (UV-scab scanning).
This procedure is able to identify a tunnel visible to the naked eye thanks to its bluish-white luminescence much more efficiently than any other visible-light sources. The body of Sarcoptes scabiei also emits a dot-like luminescence (white or green), although this is visible only when magnifying a common digital photograph at full size on any monitor.
To a greater extent than in full clinical conditions, this procedure promises the best diagnostic results in paucisymptomatic forms characterized by ab initio ambiguous manifestations or in monitoring unclear lesions after treatment that create significant indecision regarding therapeutic efficacy and patient contagiousness.
If future studies confirm the convenience of this procedure, it will represent an important diagnostic development over the inexpensive instruments already present in any dermatologist’s office and a limited time required for the full-frame view of scabies images on PC monitors or other displays.
Based on these premises, the classic pathognomonic sign of scabies, “the burrow”, is more easily demonstrable in vivo and in situ thanks to fluorescence of Sarcoptes scabiei and its gallery.
The future availability of a device able to integrate all the steps of this novel procedure in a single action would offer a quick pre-dermoscopic/microscopic diagnosis upon the first examination of patient.
This represents a significant breakthrough in the history of scabies.Gaetano Scanni. Med Infect Dis. 2022 Dec; 7(12): 422: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC9785351/